6 High-Priced Free Agents Patriots Should Target With Bill Belichick Gone

Which free agents should the New England Patriots target as they move on from Bill Belichick?
New England Patriots
New England Patriots / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
4 of 6

3. Leonard Williams, DT/DE

The Patriots signed former Dolphins nose tackle Davon Godchaux to a two-year deal ahead of the 2021 season in an effort to shore up their defensive line. The 6-foot-3, 330-pounder played well enough to earn a two-year extension worth more than $20 million and will be entering the final year of that deal this season. Despite being a nose tackle, Godchaux puts up some impressive numbers with 183 tackles over the past three years.

Even so, his job is to shut down the run and clog up lanes. He does a lot of the dirty work that goes unnoticed but also doesn’t generate much of a pass rush. That winds up falling on the shoulders of Christian Barmore who led the team with 8.5 sacks this year.

If the Patriots wanted to get more push up the middle in the passing game, they could look to add Leonard Williams, the veteran defensive tackle who played in Seattle last year. Williams makes sense for the Pats due to his versatility.

New England would be able to line him up as a defensive end in their base defense but could still slide him inside on third downs. He wouldn’t take away from what Godchaux does for their defensive line but instead would add another element to their defense.